NEW MUSIC: CALI NATIVE OUT NOW

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PERFORMER / TEACHER / PRODUCER

As one of the most versatile keyboardists on the West Coast, Bobby Cressey often finds himself pigeon holed by people who only know him for one particular style. The straight ahead jazz lovers might have no idea that he is an authority on keyboard playing in Jamaican ska and reggae. People who hear him perform classical piano could be clueless about his skills in programming keyboards and commercial pop chops, or might never guess that he regularly plays the organ for thousands of people at baseball games or backs up lounge singers in his spare time. Bobby has years of experience professionally performing and producing in multiple styles of music. For years he played with the world famous DJ Skee’s Skeetox band, currently plays organ for the San Diego Padres and San Diego Gulls, and has performed with Ice Cube, Jesse McCartney, Xzibit, Lil’ John, Snoop Dogg, Warren G, Bobby Brown, The Glenn Miller big band and the Tom Kubis Big Band at Goldenwest. Bobby plays in San Diego's premier corporate top 40 band, The Mighty Untouchables, in addition to several original projects including Tiffy Jane and the Kicks as well as his own jazz piano and organ combos. He's also a founding member of 'Western Standard Time', an 18 piece ensemble that plays the traditional ska of the Skatalites with big band arrangements.

Bobby is also an accomplished composer and producer. His music can be heard through multiple outlets including television, movies, terrestrial, streaming and satellite radio, and video games. He also maintains an active roster of students, teaching a wide range of styles to students of all ages and walks of life. His newest album 'Cali Native' is an entirely self funded release and showcases brilliant horn arranging and a strong ensemble of Southern California's very best musicians with tons of groove based funk and soul.

Since 2010 he has lived in the University Heights area of San Diego, although he continues to work extensively in Hollywood and all of Southern California. He has a passion for moving others through his music, whether it be through performing, teaching or composing.
Nov
14

Paul Smith’s House

This Fall my employer Sandra Clay (owner of A-muse music) told Eitan and I that Paul Smith was playing a concert in November at his home and asked us if she’d like her to buy tickets for us all. Two months later I found myself seated in a room he clearly used for performance and practice, with probably 80 chairs setup facing two pianos on a makeshift bandstand. The crowd was mostly Palos Verdes silver tops, and at 28, I was the second youngest person in the house. Annette Smith announced the band, and brought them up one by one: Alex Smith, Paul’s grandson and a classmate of mine from High School on drums; the bass player who was older and who’s name escapes me, and finally Paul Smith, about 6’4″, who lumbered up to the smaller of the two pianos with a bandage on his head and pretty much instantly began the first tune.

Paul Smith at his home, November 13 2009

I immediately noticed that he didn’t dominate the instrument like he once did from a purely technical side, but all his musical instincts and abilities were still there. This was Ella Fitzgerald’s piano player for about 25 years. Reading more about him afterward, I found out that he was born in 1922, which makes him 87! In light of that, this man performed incredibly. He had a feathery touch wherever he wanted to. He played epic intros on lots of the songs, including 2 choruses of ‘Over the Rainbow’ brilliantly reharmonized, and he accompanied his daughter on a couple songs and he shined in what he chose to play behind her. Accompanying is after all how he put food on his table.

So it was a good night of music, despite the fact that his guest artists detracted from the main performance. Alex introduced me to him afterward, and I got to shake that huge mitt of his. Check out this video of him accompanying Ella. Go straight to minute 2:40 to hear him unload. 87 years young! And I was in his house drinking his punch.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwEsq31wKcI&feature=PlayList&p=DFD38856EB7D13DA&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=5]

Nov
13

Speaking of Marty’s Chord…




Marty’s Big Band ii V

Originally uploaded by Bobbycressey

Here it is. Cm7/B. Lush post modern sound for a dominant voicing.

Nov
12

Here’s the rough Demo I threw together yesterday morning before work. I emailed this out to Paul and Anna so they’d have something to chew on before coming in last night.

The session went smoothly once we got started. I edited it a little bit this morning, but I have to run off to play some music for a big time company luncheon down in Westwood.

Paul and I were both stoked.
Paul and Bobby Recording Nov 11 2009

Nov
11

Creativity On Tap: Sometimes Easy, Sometimes, Not So Much

I spent 10 hours at work today. I don’t hate working retail, but it does tend to numb the musical mind and soul. Students hammer on drums on the retail floor; high school shredders ditch class and come unleash bad speed metal on our guitars and ears; and kids get loose with Heart and Soul on the grand pianos while the demo blares on some abandoned keyboard in the corner. Not to mention the painful sounds of saxophone being learned but not yet mastered. The sum total of this is an assault on the ears that by the end of the day can harden a person to shut out anything musical. Even Marty’s sick chord voicings contribute no more than another strand to the cacophony, just heaping sound upon loud intrusive sound despite their beauty.

So after a long day of work followed by a meeting, I wasn’t optimistic when I went over to my mom’s where my piano sits, and at 8:45 PM set about the task of trying to write some smooth jazz. I had Paul and Anna coming to record drums and bass tomorrow on some smooth jazz that had yet to be written, so if I didn’t do something then, I wasn’t sure when I would get it done. Furthermore I hadn’t spent much time with the piano at all, especially in a Smooth Jazz vein.

So I started to mess around with voicings and grooves. Some stuff sounded cool, but it was too hip for smooth jazz. Those voicings were too dense and angular. The melodies weren’t simple enough. So I concentrated on just imagining a bouncy groove, and a simple pentatonic thing dancing on top of it, and soon enough I fell into something real nice. The essence of Smooth jazz, its validity as a genre, and whether it’s ‘good’ or ‘bad’ music is a subject for another blog, but at least I’ll say here that good Smooth jazz is all about that balance between sophistication and simplicity. It was coming really nicely.

So I came up with 2 concepts, and because I was stupidly without manuscript paper, I hurried back home to write/record my concepts. Except that I’m posting a blog about it instead of writing it down, so hopefully it’s still there when I’m done!

Looking forward to tomorrow though.

LIVE PERFORMANCES

CLICK HERE for a full calendar of upcoming live dates

MUSIC ON FILM/TV

-Had music placed on the new show 'Donnie Loves Jenny' on A&E at the beginning of 2015

-Check out my recent blogpost about placements in 2014

-2013/2014: Had a prominent placement in 'Thor 2: The Dark World'. My cue is in a restaurant scene for over a minute.



-Had music placed on the Sundance Channel at the end of 2013 in 'All On The Line With Joe Zee'

-My music is featured on DJ SKEE's show SKEELIVE on AXS TV throughout 2013 and 2014

-I have multiple hip hop cues on 'Rob's Fantasy Factory' seasons 3-6 airing on MTV continuously.



-I have music on a new show on TLC called 'Best Funerals'. (say what!?) airing in late 2013 / early 2014. The show will feature a handful of gospel cues that I wrote.

-I placed a Dramedy Cue called 'Sneaky Groover' in the season premiere of 'World Of Jenks' on MTV in the Spring of 2013.